Everyone’s talking about Netflix’s new K-thriller, Squid Game, which has taken the streaming service by storm since its release on Sept. 17. It’s the perfect combination of thrilling and horrifying, making it the kind of show you can’t stop thinking about — and one challenge in particular has people trying to replicate it. Inspired by the game from Episode 3, people are learning how to make dalgona candy so they can replicate the dalgona candy challenge on TikTok (minus the lethal element) with the popular Korean sweet.
In the episode, Squid Game players have to poke at the center shape of a dalgona candy — also called ppopgi — to try to free it from the outer crusts without breaking the fragile, honeycomb-like sweet. While the candy looks like it’s pretty sturdy, it’s actually super delicate. Made only from lightly whipped sugar and a pinch of baking soda, it’s easier than you’d expect to snap these little candies in half, which, in Squid Game, means instant death.
While the stakes aren’t quite as high when playing IRL, it’s still tons of fun to try TikTok’s #honeycombchallenge for yourself. With a few simple steps, you can make your own dalgona candy to see how you’d fare in the game.
To get started, all you need is a pan, granulated white sugar, and a pinch of baking soda. Heat the pan on low heat to start, and pour in as much or as little sugar as you want. According to this recipe, each candy is made from about 1.5 tablespoons of sugar, so keep that in mind as you pour. Continuously stir the sugar until it melts all the way through while being careful not to let it burn.
Once it’s melted and completely lump-free, add in a pinch or two of baking soda. That little bit of baking soda gives this candy its glossy, caramel color and makes it foam up. Next, pour out the mixture onto a non-stick baking sheet and press with the bottom of a bowl or ladle to create a flat circle. Give the candy about one to two minutes to rest.
This is where the fun comes in. If you have a cookie cutter, lightly press it into the candy to create the shape in the middle. It doesn’t matter what shape you go with, as long as you don’t break it while you’re playing the game. Just keep in mind you might not want to choose an umbrella (unless you’re up for the challenge).
Once the candy completely hardens, you’re ready to play. In Korea, most kids use a toothpick or another pointed utensil to play ppopgi. The tool helps to chip around the edges without breaking the shape, but it’s definitely not a guarantee, as seen from Squid Game. While the stakes are definitely nowhere as high IRL, try making dalgona candy for yourself and then give TikTok’s Squid Game honeycomb challenge a go to see if you’d pass the game.